mothering the mother, parenting the parent.

resting

this may not look like much to you, but it was a game changer for me. that’s me putting my feet up and getting a little extra rest this past weekend.

my parents came into town and offered their love, care and support to my family. my husband and child showed me extra kindness. i benefitted from some extra back rubs, some help with chores, a couple extra pairs of hands to care for my girl. and a nap. A NAP! it has me thinking and feeling.

oh no! here I go again:

in my birth doula and postpartum doula training we studied the idea of mothering the mother and how important this is for an expecting or new mom. i feel if we get down to it, it could be applied to any mom at any stage of her motherhood and yeah, partners too. we all need a little mothering. and i’m not talking about “smothering.” i’m talking about the real work of mothering we do. the mothering that sits next to you and rubs your back while you talk about your fears. the mothering that fixes you a snack or helps you make your bed. the kind of mothering that reminds you that you can do hard things, that you are capable of great things. real mothering empowers you and reminds you that everything is going to be okay. real mothering reminds you that you are loved.

it’s a goddamned impossible world out there and this kind of mothering has always helped me face it with a little more courage.

when i receive even a small dose of this it helps me to give it away more freely. part of being a mother, in my experience, requires drawing from a bottomless emotional well to make sure the lives around you are adequately watered and flourish. it can sometimes be hard to find others that are willing to deposit back into your well, because maybe they are running low too.

i cannot stress how much kindness and caring can mean to a pregnant mother or new mom. the small things add up. a little bit of kindness goes a long way. we all know this applies to many relationships in life but my point of view right now is that of a full-time mom, giving her all away to one courageous and cute child outside the womb and giving her all physically to one growing within. even though i’ve not yet met this little person earthside, my body is still mothering this being 24/7. and that is exhausting. my 5 year-old at least gives me an 8hr break during most nights. after those two little peoples, most of my other relationships in life require some level of mothering. and i meet those demands with various levels of success depending on how much i feel i have to give away on any given day.

so, the extra “mothering” and “parenting” i received from my own parents and family this weekend has helped me hit the reset button a little bit. i’ve said it before and i know i’ll say it again: i am so lucky to have been born to parents and into a family that gets this idea of support and love as fundamental to the functioning as a family unit. i know how hard it can be for people who don’t receive that love and support from their families. i think my parents did a great job of backing off and letting me spread my wings as a young adult but then stepping back in to be by my side once i became a parent.  they did not do so in a smothering way, but in a way that tells me they will be there while i go through the hardships of middle-life. they did so in a way that tells me my life is still my own to figure out but they’ll be there to listen, to remind me i’m doing my best and that every once in a while i deserve a nap.

i hope i will remember their example when life calls me to step into the role of grandparent and tread the waters of parenting a parent. because i can feel right now how important and necessary that is during this phase of my own life. and i can feel the effects of their presence in our lives these past few months in the functioning of my own nuclear family. i can feel how we’re all seeming to pull together a little more and offer up a little more kindness. this during a time when it would be so easy to buckle under the stress of it all and lash out a little more often. but no. there’s a closeness and kindness that keeps building and makes me feel excited to bring a new life into the loving folds i feel growing here.

so, in closing, i just want to express gratitude for all the mothering of mothers that takes place out there, and all the parenting of parents. these are small things with great compounding effects on the world. at least, on my world.

our week

a
small
collection
of moments
from our week
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someone sent around an article from the internet about ctfo parenting for the summer time and it has greatly eased my mind this week. i’ve been feeling guilty about not having our days filled to the brim with activities and unschooling field trips this year. but my feeling for this week is that we’re doing all right.  if we accomplish nothing else but getting to the fruit fields, cooking up something delicious with our friends in the kitchen, playing with lincoln logs, or hosing ourselves down in the yard then we’re just fine. it might even be the best summer yet.

don’t get me wrong, we’re always busy but we’re just not on the go as much. and we certainly won’t be picking up any speed in the coming weeks. i’m ok with slowing it down for a bit. do you ever have those moments when you realize life has been a beautiful, whirlwind mess for the past couple of years? we deserve a bit of a familymoon, a babymoon if you will, here this summer.

so darla has predicted we’ll have a summer solstice baby. i wouldn’t be opposed to that. however, i’m happy to have a few more days with just my one girl before breaking this open for two little ones in my life. we’ve had some really good days as of late.

and…strawberry picking was hilarious. darla managed to get herself on camera for a local news crew. they cut the piece, i think. probably because of the big ol’ sweaty pregnant lady in the background but it was fun to see D have that experience. or maybe they cut it after she took her shirt off in the field and flipped “my body, my choice” at me when i asked her if it was necessary. and that second photo is of her showing me that she’s a strawberry blonde. she’s a great daily companion.

* i hope you had a wonderful week. wishing you all a magical solstice this weekend.*

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this girl and our week

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before i jump into the goodness from this week i want to take a minute to put some words down about this girl above. these weeks have been very challenging for me. i wanted to give darla the best of me for these last few weeks of her only-child existence. i wanted to give her an amazing last summer together. i feel i’m falling way short on these expectations. i feel so stretched, in every figurative and literal way. i am not giving her the best of myself. i’m trying but we get to the middle of the day and i’m completely used up. she has so many qualities that are going to be huge assets when she is older but they thoroughly exhaust and aggravate me to the core during our everyday life. i need some reminders for myself:

stop. these are her last few weeks of onliness. put the to do list down. make your time with her count.

breathe. don’t wish away these last few weeks of pregnancy. by your designs, this is your last pregnancy. i know you’re tired and uncomfortable but very soon it will be over and you may never feel this body transformation again.

relax. in the end it will be ok. it always is.

there, i have those down there now. only future me knows if i will do a good job following my own advice.

now,

a

small

collection

of moments

from our week…

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we joined the world in strawberry picking this week. seriously, did everyone quit their jobs and head off into the fields? last year we were amongst a handful of people in the fields and this year it was a mob scene. granted, it was the very tail end of the strawberry season when we made it out last year but i think it’s safe to say U-pick is having it’s time in the sun {pun! produce pun!} at this time and i for one, couldn’t be happier. it was nice to see so many people investing in local produce, many with their own reusable containers. zero waste wins! {ps. we used one of our leftover bulk peanut butter buckets for this year. last year i cut the top off an old milk carton. take a look around at what you have at home before heading off to U-pick this year.} we found a little slug buddy whom darla carried around for a while and had a hard time understanding why he couldn’t come home as a pet.

our local library branch had a farm pets day which made for a perfect pit stop during a rainy afternoon.

we also ventured to the rose garden for our annual park of roses visit. D had chosen to wear her rose garden dress for the outing and was pretty tickled when butterflies mistook her garments for the real thing. i really should have taken the photo of her face instead of the butterfly but it was too late. the look on her face is what i really want to remember from that moment though.

*that’s a wrap on our week.  i hope you had a wonderful week and weekend as well*

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my daughter is my hero

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girl crush moment:

this girl is my hero. she’s so fearless and fun. she’s easily the person having the best time everywhere she goes. she doesn’t know a stranger. she dresses up in her girliest outfit and then hunts all over the house to find her “light sabers” to stuff in her purse because she “doesn’t go anywhere without them.”  she knows what she wants and she’s not afraid to go for it. she puts together the best outfits. she’s smart and she’s funny. and she’s punny! she’s determined and affectionate. she’s helpful and enthusiastic. she’s creative. she’s independent but loves being part of a team.

in short, she’s all the things i want to be when i grow up.

what i feel about this age + stage is that i realize mike and i may have very little to do with how great this person is. when they are young you feel this overwhelming weight of how they’re going to turn out. and then, even though it seems like you do a million things wrong along the way, they turn out to be these amazing little people who are just so cool. i pray i’ll remember this with our second person and just CTFO about everything other than love and fun.

i hope you all have a kid hero.

here comes the sun, little darla

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we stopped for a brief moment during errands today to soak up some sun. i hope everyone is able to get out and do the same. i felt better after just 5 minutes. even if this is just a teaser, seeing darla splash through puddles and bask in the rays made me ache for spring.  i woke up to the sound of birds this morning so i know it has to be just around the corner…right?

i need to be back outside. that is all.

Bun in the {L}oven

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think you know what this picture means? other than that i need to give the inside of our oven door a scrub down?

Well, it only seems appropriate that on this day of love i disclose to the webiverse that this summer we’re going to have a new little wrucker to love on. 

i gots a bun in my loven oven! 

yeah, i just called it a loven oven and what’s more is i’ve used that term with clients before. i am nothing if not tactful and professional.

do you guys know what this means? this gets to turn into a pregnancy blog! the internet needs more of them! there aren’t enough out there.

but in all seriousness, i do plan on documenting this pregnancy here. now that i do birth work it’s been quite a different experience for me. it’s been a good one. it’s put me back in the shoes of my clients, reminding me what this simultaneous state of power and vulnerability feels like.  to put it bluntly i’ve had to put my money where my mouth is. i am experiencing again how hard it can be as a woman in our society to trust in my body. i am experiencing the overwhelming amounts of information out there that requires sifting through to discover the best, informed plan for my family.

i’m reminded of what it feels like for a tiny human to be an acrobat inside you and to feel ferociously determined to protect and provide for that person with each nudge and kick. 

so, we’re on our way to becoming a family of four. darla has BIG plans for her and this new babe. we told her on her 5th birthday and she was absolutely the sweetest to me. when she got her bike for her birthday she said “but where are we going to put the baby seat?” which filled me with fear of what i’m going to have to intercept down the road {bike pun!} and happiness that she sees toting a baby on her bike as normal, since that is what she experienced.

well, happy valentine’s day to all. sending you love vibes to you and yours from the growing ours.